E-commerce 2024 – Vision for the Future

To expect the unexpected thoroughly shows the modern intellect”. These words of Oscar Wilde feel so apt for the post-pandemic world of e-commerce. The ecosystem picked up pace in most unexpected times and pushed the boundaries and expectations beyond what anyone could prepare for. But as the dust settled the brands and platforms are now in an intense race to go beyond just providing convenience and quality. It is about optimizing customer experience and taking efficiency to the next level.

23%–25% year on year growth is expected in India’s e-retail market. By 2028, it will reach over $160 billion USD. (Source: Bain & Co. Report)

2024 is going to be the year where brands and platforms need to efficiently predict what customers need and match the pace of evolving digital commerce ecosystem.

E-Commerce vision for the future – Next level customer experience

The AI/ML is changing the world as we know it with rapid pace. Brands need swift actions and platforms need wider expansions as customer behavior and needs for enriched experience are evolving.

Even the world biggest e-commerce marketplace is pushing it to extend its reach with launch of new features that engage customers like recently launched AI-Generated Review Highlights. It’s a short paragraph featuring most frequently mentioned product feature across written review highlighted on product detail page. Such value to customer sentiments build trust among the new shoppers and leave positive impression. It helps shoppers purchase decision and confidently navigate. It also eases the review submission process and help combat fake reviews.

In last decade, Digital native brands selling online-first make up two-thirds of sales among top 10 global e-retailers. (Source: Bain & Co. Report)

In past years platforms introduced several innovations some of them specific to the Indian market. This includes features like voice search, product video, and shopping interface in regional language, which helped double the users and its usage year-on-year (YoY).

To elevate the shopping experience more platforms are moving towards emerging tools such as augmented reality (AR) and AI-driven solutions in 2024 allowing customers to virtually place products in real-world settings.

Pushing for initiatives such as integrated live streaming, live promotions, product highlighting, and utilizing chat features for ease in shopping and handling grievances is making the shopping experience more interactive and engaging.

Influencers bring in new shoppers and new revenue streams. Live streams by influencers covering domains like fashion, lifestyle, tech, gaming, home decor, beauty, and sports are new ways to advertise products and platforms. Various marketplace and D2C brands running an Influencer Program to monetize their content and open new shopping avenues. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are turning into new e-commerce shops bringing extensive reach to shopping platforms.

Challenges for Brands and platforms in 2024

The major challenge for brands in 2024 is staying ahead of the competition and exploring new markets. The competition across e-commerce and quick commerce landscape has always been intense but now it’s fiercer than ever. Shoppers now look to explore more options and strive for products that suit their lifestyle choices. Brands that have a wide presence in the physical retail space now moving online for not just sales but visibility in the digital landscape. D2C brands which have their own set of niche audiences are now pushing for online marketplaces to expand to new shoppers. The number of SKUs that need to be monitored has risen as multiple competitors are present across categories, sub-categories, geographies, platforms, and product variants. Real-time monitoring and ecommerce competitive analysis lead to better decision-making and more decisive strategies that help, understand competition, market trends, and customer behavior. Brands monitoring their products on multiple e-commerce quick commerce and e-commerce platforms and adhering to the platform guidelines to optimize performance is key to having as successful 2024.

1 out 3 shoppers are now Gen Z and Tier 2+ cities are dominating the market with 7 out of 10 online shoppers (Source: Bain & Co. Report)

For platforms, the major challenge is optimizing efficiencies and enriching the customer experience. With multiple shopping options available across geographies, it is important for platforms to provide a customer experience that makes shoppers prefer their platforms. Quick commerce platforms are not just challenging the e-commerce platforms but also making their own space among shoppers. Quick commerce platforms are got wider acceptance in 2023 and looking to expand more inventory as they move into 2024 with rising presence and demand in tier-2 cities. Swift delivery and an expanding range of product categories have made them the talk of the town for the last-minute needs be it a party, festive celebration, or daily needs.

The Final Thought

Adapt, learn and keep moving forward. The world of digital shopping is evolving, customer choices and preferences are evolving with individuals looking for products that suits their lifestyle needs. Brands need to keep up with the trends and stay in tune with market dynamics with competitive analytics that provide real-time data and actionable insights that can help shape brands marketing efforts and data-driven decision making. 2024 is going to be a year of evolution where data and tech will drive efficiencies and take customer experience to the next level. What brand need is a digital commerce intelligence companion in 2024 to lead their ways.

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